Thursday, March 1, 2012

The End Of Privacy

   The End of Privacy
   In this century it appears the loss of anonymity will be more shocking than the loss of virginity.
   Two events that resulted in deaths, and both involve the Internet at least tangentially, signal the need for a reexamination of privacy.
   Is it even possible in a world with surveillance cameras wherever you turn?  Drones aren’t only used in Afghanistan.
In the Princeton suicide case of Tyler Clementi his predator had figured out how to set up a remote control viewing of his sex with an older gay man.
   Even though it never happened, and even though no video of the sexual encounter was ever posted, the mere appearance on Websites of the fact it happened led to Clementi jumping off the George Washington Bridge.
   This raises another issue. In any sexual harassment case it is difficult to determine what happened, and why. There will be exaggeration, which could result in a more extreme response than might otherwise have followed.
   Can a court handle cases like this. Did events in Clementi's prior life contribute to his decision to take his life?
   How can there be free speech if your right to swing ends where my iPhone begins.
Must everything be figurative, not literal.
   AFP reports a Frenchman is suiing Google for posting a photo of him peeing in his back yard on its Street View.
   This week a teen in Chardon, Ohio, allegedly killed three high school students after publishing a poem that included references to death on Facebook that could have been a warning of what was to come.
   The Christian Science Monitor reported T.J. Lane, the Chardon killer, attended an alternative school for students who are evaluated as a high risk for “substance abuse/chemical dependency, anger issues, mental health issues, truancy, delinquency, difficulties with attention/organization, and academic deficiencies,” according to the school's website. All are red flags that should have made the family weapon more difficult to obtain, says Jennie Lintz, acting executive director of The Center to Prevent Youth Violence in New York City, the Monitor reported.
   Lane had been accused of assaulting a family member in 2009. What does it take for authorities to act.
   As far back as the Columbine High School Massacre 12 years ago, a lifetime in the Web age, killers Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, issued threats on the Internet. And they were reported to area law officers.
   Families at the high school remain convinced police action could have prevented 13 deaths. Instead of investigating why no action was taken the Colorado state government has blocked release of information that may hold the answer.
   Had the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office dragged the two boys into its headquarters for questioning the officers might have faced a court order insisting the threatening words were covered by the First Amendment.
   On the other extreme, Princeton student Dharun Ravi, is on trial for revealing to the university public and beyond electronically that his dormitory roommate was gay. Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge after learning of his betrayal, it has been reported.
The author was the lead reporter for Associated Press on the Columbine Massacre, and ten years of events that followed. He also was working the night life support was turned off for Matthew Shepard in a Colorado hospital.

No comments:

Post a Comment